The Indianapolis Colts are once again renewing one of the best interdivisional rivalries in football when they take on Mac Jones and the New England Patriots. As is usually the case, both teams are positioned to make a very deep run in the postseason.
While both teams started poorly, New England has developed a run-first offensive formula complemented by some solid defense. Indianapolis’ recipe for success isn’t much different, as they have been leaning on an MVP candidate in star running back Jonathan Taylor in addition to the resurgent Carson Wentz.
Indianapolis’ Saturday Night game against New England will have major playoff implications, as both the Colts and Patriots would occupy playoff spots if the season ended today. The Colts are looking for any advantage they can get over New England, including coaxing a former Patriots legend into rooting for Indy instead of his friends in Foxborough.
Owner Jim Irsay confirmed that Adam Vinatieri, who played 14 of his 24 seasons in the NFL with the Colts, will bang the anvil before Saturday’s game. Vinatieri had more signature moments in New England, but his statistical production in Indianapolis was better.
Adam Vinatieri is supporting the Colts, not the Patriots.
Vinatieri is the greatest kicker in NFL history, as both those who value statistical proficiency and those who prefer performance in clutch moments can find something to love in his career. Vinatieri holds the record for most points in NFL history, which is a byproduct of his incomparable durability.
Not too many kickers can claim to have four Super Bowl rings, but Vinatieri checks that box as well. While three of those rings came with the Patriots (two of which were won on last-second field goals), Vinatieri was the Colts’ kicker for Peyton Manning’s lone Super Bowl with Indy.
Vinatieri was making 85% of his field goals in 2018 at the age of 45. In 14 years with Indianapolis, he was named both a Pro Bowler and All-Pro while leading the league in field goal percentage in 2014. He only got one ring in Indy, but part of the reason they won consistently for almost two decades was Vinatieri’s historically accurate leg.
While Vinatieri is a Colts legend that could’ve been honored at any game, Irsay knew what he was doing here. Scheduling Vinatieri to bang the anvil against his former team in a game with so much importance and bombast behind it is a really nice touch. Time will tell if it translates into a victory.